This is topic should you get a dog with heartworm?? in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
my friend who has lyme has an opportunity to get this beautiful shepherd dog. it's sick, tho and positive for heartworm. very skinny and will need a vet's care.

she wants this dog so bad but is afraid that with her having lyme she cna't be around for the treatment for heartworm whic i believe is shots.

the poor dog will go through a lot.

but the question is: should people with lyme disease be around animals who have parasites like heartworm?
Posted by glm1111 (Member # 16556) on :
Absofreakinlutely NOT!!!!!!!!!
Posted by GiGi (Member # 259) on :
Talking Parasite treatment: If one in the family is treated, the whole family has to be treated. If pets are in the family, they should all be treated at the same time. Without that, getting rid of parasites in the household is not possible. The infections will be just passed around back and forth. Per Dr. K.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
but she can't get heartworm from a dog can she? and if the dog is being treated it would be ok wouldn't it?
Posted by susank (Member # 22150) on :
I don't see the connection between Heartworms and humans. Humans don't get heartworms do they?

I adopted a HW positive shepherd years ago.
We opted for the "new" "slow kill" treatment.
No injections. No vet stay.

My Heidi dog was instead given Heartworm meds like any other dog. She was given a low dose of Pred in case of problems. We had none.

Months later she was HW neg. No restricted play. Only cost for treatment was the few Pred
pills - and the HW pills monthly just like a neg. dog.

Has the dog been tested for other parasites?
If found - could that be treated - and the dog ok then for your friend?! (being mindful of ticks always - of course).
Posted by NanaB (Member # 26227) on :
I would say absolutely not because I hear that most dogs do not survive the heartworms or heartworm treatment.

It would be hard on the family to get attached and then have the dog die - not to mention the expense of the heartworm treatment. I hear it is not cheap.
Posted by susank (Member # 22150) on :
The "slow kill" method is cheap.

And as I understand it less risky.

I wish it were the same for LD.
Posted by Tammy N. (Member # 26835) on :
If it has heartworms...may also have other bugs/parasites. I'd steer clear. Plus, the emotional attachment, like NanaB said. Who needs all the trouble, when already dealing with this monster illness??
Posted by Heaavenlyholler1 (Member # 28700) on :
As much as you want this dog ... let it go.
Most do not survive the treatment. It is vary expensive (with no garantee) and vary hard on the animal and the people who love it. I am so sorry.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
well she's got plenty of money so it wouldn't be a problem. but i told her no, let it go, she would end up heartbroken if it died.

i'm still grieving over my baby and it's been about 3 years.
Posted by faithful777 (Member # 22872) on :
It is not true that most dogs do not survive heartworm treatment. As a former vet tech, they can survive if they are caught in time and treated. There is always a chance that the dog may not survive the treatment. No guarantees.

I take rescue dogs in when ever I can and wouldn't hesitate to take a heartworm positive dog. As far as I know, this is not transmittable to humans. Save the poor baby if you can. Every animal deserves to be loved.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
i just talked to her. apparently she's already made up her mind.

one look at those doggie eyes and those turned down ears and she was a goner.

poor baby is so thin tho. looks to be a beautiful shepherd.

and she does need something to love. sometimes love is all it takes..

and heaven knows we lyme patients don't get enough of that..
Posted by baileypup (Member # 22824) on :
We fostered a dog with heartworm, and he lived.

The dog was a german shepherd mix, and he didn't act very sick during treatment, except for some coughing. I remember just having to keep him quiet.
Posted by CountryMouse (Member # 32073) on :
I am fostering a dog right now that has been treated for heartworm. He is on restricted activity for 4-6 weeks then he will be fine. Actually he is fine now but we just need to be extra careful.

Most dogs died when they used absolute poisons for treatment of the heartworms. They don't use that anymore, at least no vet should be. They treat with doxy and immiticide - one shot in the back and usually a month and a half of doxy which renders the heartworms (should any survive the shot) sterile so they can't reproduce.

Also the slow kill method is by just using monthly ivermectin which kills the baby worms in the bloodstream over time. This is the same stuff as the monthly heartworm preventative. This stuff also kills roundworms and lots of other parasites at the same time.

Honestly, dogs survive and live great long lives afterwards as long as they aren't late in life or have other problems. This dog had BOTH Lyme and heartworms and he is doing absolutely wonderfully. Next week we will have had him 5 weeks.

HW can't be given to humans via dog kisses or anything like that.

Nice to see fellow foster parents 777 and Baileypup! [Smile] . This dog is an American Foxhound, we believe he is purebred. Was found as a stray and we cannot believe that no one claimed him. Absolutely gorgeous and really smart dog.
Posted by faithful777 (Member # 22872) on :
My dogs are saving my life right now. Being so sick, they love on me all day. It does get difficult when they want to be out all the time and I am dragging my butt in pain.

I always seem to pick the special dogs with wires crossed in their brain. My lab just turned 10 years old and is so spry for her age. We give her supplements to help her be healthy. She won't go up and down stairs unless you walk with her.

So her legs work fine, she just has a few loose screws, and has to have someone with her when she comes up those stairs but she is the best dog.

One of my rescues is what we call our ADD dog. She was so abused before I adopted her that she is petrified of everything. Moving furniture freaks her out. She thinks the new object is coming after her.

Also, she has to walk behind me when I let her out. I believe that is just in case she feels the need to retreat. She is the most goofy loving dog we have ever had. Love all my babies!
Posted by ItsMyTurn (Member # 31469) on :
I read that "60 minutes" did a special on children in a family that died mysteriously. After an autopsy, they found heart worms. Their pets had heart worms.

Something to think about.
Posted by lymielauren28 (Member # 13742) on :
I think she should absolutely get the dog. It's not true that most dogs don't survive heartworm - most dogs do. I think we as Lyme sufferers restrict ourselves waaaay too much as it is and that's really no way to live.

I would say the benefits of owning a dog (companionship, unconditional love, walking, etc) far outweigh the risks. She should go for it. Just my two cents;)
Posted by CountryMouse (Member # 32073) on :
Originally posted by ItsMyTurn:
I read that "60 minutes" did a special on children in a family that died mysteriously. After an autopsy, they found heart worms. Their pets had heart worms.

Something to think about.

You CANNOT catch heartworms from your dog!

Heartworms are only transmitted by mosquitoes. Rarely humans get them but they would be catching them from bugs not dogs. Hypothetically if a mosquito bit a dog with heartworm then bit you, you might get it that way. But that is reported to be exceptionally rare and only a theory at this point. And if humans are infected they do not end up in the heart but in the lung.

How is the dog doing? My foster dog just got the news yesterday that there are no heartworms in his bloodstream so his treatment was a success! Hoping it is the same with your friend's dog [Smile]
Posted by nefferdun (Member # 20157) on :
I hate it when people make hysterical conclusions. Most parasites are species specific. People don't get heart worms.

The thing to consider about getting him is if she can handle another sickness in addition to her own. Only she can answer that. I love animals. They are comforting to me. I couldn't live without them.

In 2010 I had two dogs, two cats and a horse all die within six months. I was very sick with lyme but I got through it. They were such a pleasure to my life, I have no regrets - just wish they lived longer. In this case the dog will probably recover just fine and become the most grateful loyal and loving creature you can imagine.
Posted by nefferdun (Member # 20157) on :
Q: Can people get heartworms from their dogs?

A: It can only be passed on by mosquitoes. Its a specific parasite that only affects dogs and cats and ferrets and other mammals. In rare cases, heartworms have infected people, but it does not complete its life cycle. The heartworm will migrate to the lung and cause a round lesion that looks like a tumor. But these are very rare cases.

Posted by merrygirl (Member # 12041) on :
Didnt read every response but i was a tech 12 years

Yes treatment can be hard and very expensive. But it is NOT true most die.. thats riduculous.

They get im injections and you keep them quiet.

People do.not fet heartworms from dogs. I would say the animal was likely neglected and could have parasites.

The vet should test for tbi, and intestunal stuff.

All easily treated in dogs. heartworm is easily prevented with once a month med.

Now i know we are all very sick. But it makes me sad that some of you feel so angry and worried that you are afraid of animals. Animals can be the best medicine.

I am also disapointed in the misinformation presented. If you are not 100% sure about something, dont post. Or post something like i heard dogs can die from heartworm treatment. Not, "all dogs die from it" the end... its simply not true
Posted by merrygirl (Member # 12041) on :
Sorry for typos..on phone. T
Posted by doglover (Member # 19374) on :

Have your dogs ears checked. She might have an ear infection.
I have a friend whose lab did the same thing. The dog had double ear infections and showed no signs.

They put him on antibiotics. It cleared the infection. Now the dog goes up and own stairs-no problem.

Just a suggestion. [Smile]
Posted by linky123 (Member # 19974) on :
Our dog got them after I missed just one or two months of his monthly preventative. It cost $700 to treat him. We had to walk him on a leash every time he had to go - for two months - running can kill them. We kept him in a kennel the rest of the time.

He is part greyhound and would always try to trot around on the leash. But he made it through.

Ten days after the first shot was a critical time, I think the die-off is hard on them; we thought we we were going to lose him.

After Katrina, the vet said a lot of the dogs brought north from New Orleans had them, and they were spreading like wildfire through our area - lots of mosquitos here.

She has to be willing to do all of the above and give him/her monthly preventative, which isn't cheap, religiously. I haven't missed a dose in four years.

It was worth it for us; he was our first pet and I have never seen a more loyal dog. He is still with us and except for some arthritis, and is no worse for the wear.

Our vet said also, to buy the heartworm preventative from him or a legitimate vet; he would match any price we saw online. He said some of the online stuff is expired, not the real thing etc.

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